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Hast. I am surprised that one who is so friend can be so cool a lover.
Marl. To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my chief inducement down was to be instrumental in forwarding : sone's your happiness, not my own.
Miss Neville loves you ; the family don't know you; as my friend you are sure of a reception, and let honour do the rest.
Hast. My dear Marlow !-But, I'll suppress the emotion. Were I a wretch,Imeanly seeking to carry off a fortune, you should be the last man in the world I would apply to for assistance. But Miss Neville's person is all I ask; and that is mine, both from her deceased father's consent, and her own inclination,
Marl. Happy man?''You have talents and art to captivate any woman.
I am doomed to adore the sex, and
yet to converse with the only part of it I despise. This stammer in my address, and this awkward prepossessing visage of mine, can never permit me to soar :-Pshaw! this fellow here to interrupt us.
Enter HARDCASTLE. Hard. Gentlemen, once more you are heartily welcome. Which is Mr. Marlow ? Sir, you're heartily welcome. It's not my way, you see, to receive my friends with my back to the fire. I like to give them a hearty reception, in the old style, at my gate. I like to see their horses and trunks taken care of.
Marl. [Aside.] He has got our names from the servants already. [To him.]—We approve your caution and hospitality, sir. [To HASTINGS.]—I have been thinking, George, of changing our travelling dresses
in the morning. I am grown confoundedly ashamed of mine.
Hard. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you'll use no ceremony in this house.
Hast. I fancy, Charles, you're right: the first blow is half the battle. I intend opening the campaign with the white and gold.
Hard. Mr. Marlow-Mr. Hastings-gentlemen-pray be under no restraint in this house. This is Liberty Hall, gentlemen. You may do just as you please here.
Marl. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too fiercely at first, we may want ammunition before it is
I think to reserve the embroidery to secure a retreat.
Hard. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, when he went to besiege Denain. He first summoned the garrison
Marl. Don't you think the ventre d'or waistcoat will do with the plain brown?
Hard. He first summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men
Hast. I think not: brown and yellow mix but very poorly.
Hard. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, he summoned the garrison, which might consist of about five thousand men
Marl. The girls like finery.
Hard. Which might consist of about five thousand men, well appointed with stores, ammunition, and
y other implements of war. Now, says the Duke of
Marlborough to George Brooks, that stood next to him T! —you must have heard of George Brooks—“I'll pawn
my dukedom,” says he, “but I'll take that garrison, ť without spilling a drop of blood.” So
Marl. What, my good friend, if you gave us glass of punch in the meantime? It would help us to 31 carry on the siege with vigour.
Hard. Punch, sir! [Aside]—This is the most unaccountable kind of modesty I ever met with.
Marl. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm punch, after our journey, will be comfortable. This is Liberty it Hall, you know.
Hard. Here's a cup, sir.
Marl. [Aside.] So this fellow, in his Liberty Hall, will only let us have just what he pleases.
Hard. [Taking the cup.] I hope you'll find it to te your mind. I have prepared it with my own hands, and I believe you'll own the ingredients are tolerable.
be so good as to pledge me, sir ? Here, Mr. Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance. [Drinks.]
Marl. [Aside.] A very impudent fellow this! But he's a character, and I'll humour him a little. [To mer
him.]-Sir, my service to you. [Drinks.]
Hast. [Aside.] I see this fellow wants to give us he
his company, and forgets that he's an innkeeper, before he has learned to be a gentleman.
Marl. From the excellence of your cup, my old
friend, I suppose you have a good deal of business in id this part of the country. Warm work, now and then,
at elections, I suppose.
Hard. No, sir, I have long given that work over. Since our betters have hit upon the expedient of electing each other, there's no business for us that sell ale.
Hast. So, then, you have no turn for politics, I find.
Hard. Not in the least. There was a time, indeed, I fretted myself about the mistakes of Government, like other people ; but, finding myself every day grow more angry, and the Government growing no better, I left it to mend itself. Since that, I no more trouble my head about Hyder Ally, or Ally Cawn, than about Ally Croker.-Sir, my service to you.
Hast. So that with eating above stairs, and drinking below; with receiving your friends within, and amusing them without, you lead a good, pleasant, bustling life of it.
Hard. I do stir about a great deal, that's certain. Half the differences of the parish are adjusted in this very parlour.
Marl. [After drinking.] And you have an argument in your cup, old gentleman, better than any in Westminster Hall.
Hard. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a little philosophy.
Marl. [Aside.] Well, this is the first time I ever heard of an innkeeper's philosophy.
Hast. So then, like an experienced general, you attack them on every quarter. If you find their reason manageable, you attack it with your philosophy; if you find they have no reason, you attack them with this.-Here's your health, my philosopher. [Drinks.]
Hard. Good, very good, thank you; ha! ha! Your generalship puts me in mind of Prince Eugene, when he fought the Turks at the battle of Belgrade. You shall hear.
Marl. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's almost time to talk about supper.
What has your philosophy got in the house for supper ?
Hard. For supper, sir! [Aside.]--Was ever such a request to a man in his own house ?
Marl. Yes, sir ; supper, sir : I begin to feel an appetite. I shall make sad work to-night in the larder, I promise you.
Hard. [Aside.] Such a brazen dog sure never my eyes beheld. [To him.]-Why, really, sir, as for supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy and the cook-maid settle these things between them. I leave these kind of things entirely to them.
Marl. You do, do you ?
Hard. Entirely. By-the-bye, I believe they are in actual consultation, upon what's for supper, this moment
in the kitchen. TTC
Marl. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of their privy council. It's a way I have got. When I travel, I always choose to regulate my own supper. Let the cook be called. No offence, I hope, sir.
Hard. Oh, no, sir, none in the least; yet I don't know how, our Bridget, the cook-maid, is not very com"municative upon these occasions. Should we send for her, she might scold us all out of the house.
Hast. Let's see the list of the larder, then. I ask it as a favour. I always march my appetite to my billof fare. 13]